The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of LeasePlan by ALD.
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The approval is conditional on full compliance with commitments offered by ALD.
ALD is the holding company of the ALD Group, headquartered in France. The ALD group provides mobility solutions, mainly vehicle leasing and related management services. It is solely controlled by Société Générale S.A., the holding company of the Société Générale Group, a banking and financial services group headquartered in France.
LeasePlan, headquartered in the Netherlands, is a fleet management and driver mobility company. LeasePlan's main business is vehicle leasing and related management services.
They compete, among others, in the provision of operational leasing services to large corporate customers that typically require multiple vehicles across several EEA countries. In an operational lease contract it is generally the lessor who bears the risks attached to the property of the vehicle.
The Commission had concerns that the transaction, as initially notified, would have significantly reduced competition in the markets for operational leasing in Czechia, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway and Portugal.
To address the Commission's concerns, ALD offered to:
• Divest ALD's operational leasing business in Ireland, Norway and Portugal, as well as LeasePlan's businesses in Czechia, Finland and Luxembourg, with their assets, contracts and employees. This will enable any purchaser to run the divested businesses as a viable competitive force in the respective markets on a lasting basis.
• Provide transition services, such as providing time for rebranding, access to IT services or access to used car sales platform, for a transitional period of up to two years, which may be extended by up to one additional year.
These commitments remove the overlaps existing between ALD and LeasePlan's activities in the national markets for operational leasing where the Commission had identified competition concerns.
Following the market test, the Commission concluded that the transaction, as modified by the commitments, would no longer raise competition concerns. The decision is conditional upon full compliance with the commitments. ■
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